Monday, November 30, 2015

Weird Headline of the Day

Browsing through the headlines on Yahoo! News this evening, this caught my eye:

Christians Losing 'Home-Field Advantage' as US Reels from Political and Religious Polarization

Home field advantage? I didn't even realize this was a competition.

Okay, Johnson, you proselytize to the left. Henderson, you baptize the linebacker. And if this works, Rodriguez should have an easy conversion!

When it comes to faith, times in America are changing. In fact, in many ways, they’ve already changed. Just ask Ed Stetzer, the executive director of LifeWay Research and my co-host for “BreakPoint This Week.” Commenting on a recent Pew Research Center report, Ed told the Washington Post, “America is undergoing a religious polarization.”
Indeed. According to Pew, “the percentage of adults … who describe themselves as Christians has dropped by nearly eight percentage points in just seven years. And the percentage of Americans who describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or ‘nothing in particular,’ has jumped more than six points.

You slackers call that believing? My grandmother could out-believe you bunch of bums!

And on the other hand, we’re seeing an increase of those who are serious about their faith when it comes to spiritual disciplines and activities: higher levels of at least weekly Bible reading, participating in weekly prayer or Bible study groups, sharing faith with others at least weekly. So, as Christianity Today reported, “The rich in faith get richer while the poor get poorer.”
Stetzer sees several implications of this religious polarization. First, he says, Christians no longer have what he calls a “home-field advantage” in American culture. 
Okay, listen up. Christians are down to a mere 70% of Americans, so we're on "their" turf now. Things are gonna be a lot tougher!

Seriously, this is the Pew poll that he links to that shows how Christians are, what, exactly? Becoming an oppressed minority? I guess?

 Changing U.S. Religious Landscape

So, Christians make up only a tiny 71% of the US population, while the dreaded Muslims have climbed up to almost an entire one percent!

Christians Decline as Share of U.S. Population; Other Faiths and the Unaffiliated Are Growing

 So, how does this loss of "home field" manifest itself?

“For years,” Ed states, “Christians could assume a person with whom they struck up a conversation was probably a fellow believer. If not, the other person would at least share their cultural values. But that is no longer the case. Increasingly, Americans are just as likely to have no faith background, be of another religion or even hold a hostile view of faith. That’s new territory for most Christians.”

Um, yeah, that would be new territory. If it were remotely close to being true. According to the poll that you cited, you have about a 70% chance that the person you're conversing with is a fellow Christian.  About 73% fall under the rubric "Judeo-Christian," and even most non-religious people don't necessarily have a "hostile view of faith." When you strike up a conversation with a stranger, the odds are about 1 in 300,000,000 that you've run into Bill Maher.

Second, Ed says, we “have lost cultural privilege.” Gone are the days when most stores were closed on Sundays, or schools cleared their schedules on Wednesday nights so that families could go to prayer meetings.

 Well, A) good. No religious group is supposed to be privileged above another,
and B) I have lived in America for nearly (none of your beeswax) years now, and I can not remember a time when stores routinely closed on Sundays. Other than some local mom-and-pop shops. No large corporate chains have closed on Sundays in my recollection except Chic-Fil-A. Stores being open on Sunday has nothing to do with any cultural shift away from religion. It's just good old fashioned capitalist greed.

  But Ed says, that’s not all bad. “Historically,” he writes, “Christians have survived—and thrived—as a passionate and convictional minority.”

Well, okay. But really, not since the time of Constantine I. When was the last time Christians were any kind of minority in the Western world?  My God, the West was ruled by the Holy Roman Empire from the time of Charlemagne until the early 19th Century. Christians haven't been a minority in the US since white people first outnumbered Native Americans.

The third implication, Ed says, it will be easier to tell who is a Christian and who isn’t.  More and more people are facing life without God and without the hope—and they know it.

I don't think they do. I don't think your average atheist is moping around, wringing his hands and bemoaning his lack of hope. Honestly, they seem fine.

So what can we do to bridge the polarization gap? First, we need to be among those Christians who are sharing the good news with our neighbors. 
Oh, yeah. People love that!

So we cannot underestimate the significance of the world of ideas, and their consequences if we are going to be able to live well in this culture. It’s always been important, but as we’ve gone from what Chuck Colson and Francis Schaeffer called a “post-Christian culture” to what I think we can safely call “a consciously post-Christian culture,” it’s even more important.

Yes. A "post-Christian" culture in which 71% of the people are Christian. A "post-Christian" culture in which the Democrats are running one Presidential candidate who identifies as Christian and one who is Jewish, and the Republicans are running 17, 18, 20? candidates who all try to out-Christian the others. That is exactly what a post-Christian culture would look like.

I really don't get why some people feel the need to constantly portray themselves as the victims of a hostile society. How does that make you feel good?  If you're going to live in a fantasy world, why not make it a pleasant place for you? It can bed whatever you want, you know. For instance, in my make-believe world, I am the world's highest-paid and most sought-after kitten petter whose biggest problem is that it's annoying constantly being mistaken for Channing Tatum. Why not try something like that?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Crybaby of the Day
Yahoo Finance

Charles Koch: My body is full of harpoons

If only.

The billionaire CEO of Koch Industries has mostly stayed out of the limelight, choosing instead to remain behind the scenes, donating money to politicians who share his vision of smaller government but avoiding publicity as much as possible—that is, until recently.

Yes, people who are doing shameful, indecent things generally do try to stay out of the limelight.

Charles Koch, author of the new book, Good Profit: How Creating Value for Others Built One of the World’s Most Successful Companies, sat down with Yahoo Finance editor-in-chief Andy Serwer to explain why he's finally decided to step off the sidelines and into the public fray.

The original working title was How Inheriting a Fortune Allowed Me to Corrupt the Government and Build an Even Bigger Fortune.

“I always followed what the mama said to the baby whale. She said, ‘Son, the time you got harpooned is when you spout[ed] off.’ So, I’ve followed that, and what I didn’t realize is my body was full of harpoons already, so what difference would it make if it got a few more?”

Oh. It must be so difficult for you. You've been **sob** criticized! I don't know how you can take it!

Part of the mission of Koch’s book is to correct the record about his philosophy on business and politics. Koch believes “good profit” is generated through efficient free markets, rather than “corporate welfare” that is doled out by the government in the form of tax breaks and local pork projects.

Oh. My. God. You're an OIL COMPANY!

Report Shows The Oil Industry Benefits From $5.3 Trillion in Subsidies Annually 

A Brief History of Big Tax Breaks for Oil Companies

Federal Government Still Spending Billions To Subsidize Fossil Fuels

You're complaining about corporate tax breaks? That's like a bird saying that people need to stop putting seeds into feeders. That's like a dog complaining that too many people are throwing sticks.

But that message has been twisted, according to Koch. “We needed to tell our story, because it was being totally distorted,” he said. “Most of the things said about us, the opposite was true.”

So why have Charles and his brother David Koch become such lightning rods?
Critics charge that Charles and David Koch are trying to buy influence to boost their own profits. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders has called the billionaire brothers “greedy.

Well, that is the understatement of the century. "Trying" to buy influence? They buy influence at Costco! They buy influence by the gross. They're "trying" to buy influence like Brad Pitt is "trying" to be handsome.

Keep at it, kid. You'll get there!

Oh, and Bernie Sanders called them "greedy?" Boo fucking hoo. That's like calling Manute Bol tall. 

Calling the Koch brothers "greedy" is like calling Chris Christie fat. Or Dubya Bush dumb. Or Ben Carson crazy. Or  Ted Cruz crazy. Or Rick Santorum crazy. It's not even being insulting, it's just a statement of fact.

The two brothers are a regular feature in Sanders’s stump speech, in which he says they will spend more money in this election cycle than either the Democratic or Republican parties. The Washington Post “Fact Checker” column called the statement “wildly off base.”

Well, the Washington Post can go fuck itself, that claim is totally valid if the Kochs do indeed follow through with their threat promise to spend nearly a billion dollars on this election cycle.  The Post says the claim is "off base" only because not all of the money the Kochs will be spending comes directly from the Kochs themselves. It's like saying "no, Billy, you didn't spend $100 on video games. Some of that was your birthday money from Grandma." It doesn't matter who gave Billy the money to spend, he's the one who spent it. He's the one who decided which games to buy, and he's the one who has new games to play with.

When asked why he believes he and his brother are targeted, Koch says fear plays a part. “Those who advocate government controlling people’s lives do not like competition. . ."

 So, let's break this down a bit. Those who advocate government controlling people's lives, also known as people who do not exist, have a fear of a competing force, ie the wealthy and powerful corporations, competing for control of their lives. It's just so silly that people would be afraid of a bunch of unaccountable egomaniacal billionaires controlling everything rather than demopcratically-elected government officials.

“They are apparently afraid to debate and have a national conversation on these ideas: which is better, which is a more just system, which will help people improve their lives better? And so they’re trying to shut down all opposition.”

Well, if by "shut down" you mean "say things critical of," then yep. I mean, you're still allowed to say whatever you want, and fawning Yahoo Finance "reporters" will give you a public platform to say it in as will magazines, radio, television stations. . .
 Even the "Liberal" station.
And the Supreme Court has decided that you're allowed to buy all the politicians you want to not only spread your ideas, but put them into action. And if you wanted to, you could go all Rupert Murdoch on us and start buying up newspapers and tv and radio stations, maybe even launch your own "all free-market propaganda all the time" cable network. But other than that, yeah. You're totally being shut down. Boo fucking hoo, you pathetic little crybaby.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Donald Trump is a Racist and a Liar. And he's Winning.

It's really astounding how glib Donald Trump is about his estrangement from honesty.
First he sends out this tweet with racist lies about crime statistics.

Then, when he's called out on the lie by none other than Bill Freakin O'Reilly(!) he has this to say:

TRUMP: Bill. Bill. Am I going to check every statistic? I get millions and millions of people @realdonaldtrump by the way.

Um, YEEEESSSS! Yes, you should be checking every statistic. Well, not every statistic, you don't need to check what Willie Mays's batting average was in 1958 (.347) but any stat you're going to put out there as fact - hell yes, you need to check that first!
And this stat doesn't even pass the initial sniff test. I'm just some guy. I'm not a criminologist or statistician or law-enforcement expert of any kind, but if you were to ask me "what percentage of white murder victims are killed by black murderers?" I wouldn't have a number for you, but I would have said "way less than half. Most people who are murdered are killed by someone of the same race." And I would have been right. You trotting out this bullshit number of 81 percent of white victims killed by black assailants would be unacceptable in a high-school term paper, let alone as a claim of fact from someone who thinks he's qualified to be President!

And what was your point, anyway? Even if you thought that this stat seemed legit somehow and were too lazy and too unconcerned with the truth to bother having your people check it before you broadcast it to your "millions and millions" of followers, what point were you trying to make?

How is it part of your campaign strategy to point out that white people get killed by black people? And again, that is, of course, not true. But even if it were? You're what, trying to get people to vote for you because black people are scary? Who are you, Lester Maddox?

Oh, and speaking of glibly telling racist lies, Trump is also now claiming that he watched Muslim Americans in Jersey City celebrating on 9/11. Now, before anyone even checked on this, everyone knew this was bullshit. Yes, there were some people in other countries who celebrated this tragedy, and fuck those people, but Muslims in America were feeling the same horror and sadness as the rest of us, mixed in with a feeling of dread knowing that their lives in the US were about to get a lot more difficult.

But when everybody and his brother pointed out that this never happened, that there were no celebrations in New Jersey on 9/11, instead of saying admitting that he might have mis-remembered having a weird dream where people were celebrating 9/11 and then suddenly he realized he wasn't wearing pants and the final exam is in five minutes!, Trump instead just insisted that of course he was right.

'"So, nobody believed me," Trump said. "Some people believed me. By the way, thousands of people believe me because they saw it."

No! No one saw it because it never happened! You are lying.  You can't just make up a ridiculous story, trot it out as if it were true, have that story effortlessly debunked by numerous sources, stick to the made-up bullshit story and expect to have people believe you.

At least, you'd think not. . .

Some of Trump's most ardent supporters believed his version of events, which Trump said he witnessed on TV at the time. Bruce Engelhardt, 63 years of age, is a shopping center manager from nearby Pinkerton. "I mean, it probably did happen in some ways," Engelhardt said. "Let's face it, you look at the facts, it did happen. There's good Muslims as well as those that aim to harm America. I think those are the ones we're concerned about."

"It probably did happen in some ways." Wow. I've been rolling that sentence around in my head for like 10 minutes now, trying to figure out a way in which it makes sense. The only thing I can come up with is that this Englehardt fellow is using what we here at the Chaos Compound refer to as the John Jenkins technique. Named for an old friend of ours (not his real name) who used to say things like "my boss says I can't have a raise until I lose 20 lbs." And when we would say "John, there's no way your boss said that," he would shout "WELL HE WAS THINKING IT!" 
So maybe in the mind of a Trump supporter, it makes sense to say that maybe no one was physically dancing in the streets or visibly celebrating in any way, but it's safe to assume that on the inside, they were all happy about 9/11.

Sylvana Whittaker, 52, a part-time real estate agent and homemaker from Worthington, also seemed surprised that no video existed of such celebrations.
"But they do celebrate 9/11," Whittaker said, who appears to think that there are anniversary celebrations of the attacks. "Maybe he was referring to when they do celebrate it. I know we have free speech here and we agree with that but still, why don't people apologize for that instead of all the other things they apologize for that are not offensive? It is offensive for a group of people that killed 2,000, 3,000 Americans, innocent working citizens to be celebrating that."

This is the mindset of a quarter of Republican primary voters? Well, probably even more, but some of them just prefer a different lunatic like Cruz or Carson. This country is in deep trouble. 

Oh, and also, on the subject of trump being a racist cockhole:

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Donald Trump suggested Sunday the half-dozen white attendees at his campaign rally on Saturday may have reacted appropriately when they shoved, tackled, punched and kicked a black protester who disrupted his speech.
“Maybe he should have been roughed up because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing,” Trump said Sunday morning on Fox News, less than 24 hours after his campaign said it “does not condone” the physical altercation.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Did anyone not see this coming?


Two men arrested in shooting of Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis

Is anyone surprised?
After a year or more of right-wingers vilifying the Black Lives Matter movement, calling it "anti-white," "anti-cop," "pro-cop-murder," etc. Is anyone surprised that a couple of scumbag white supremacists opened fire on #BLM protestors in Minnesota?

I mean, look at this shit:

How much of this kind of shit can you feed to people who are already paranoid, full of misguided anger and heavily armed before you can expect some of them to go out and commit this kind of terrorism. And yes, this was terrorism. Absolutely. This wasn't intended only to kill and/or wound certain particular people at this particular site. This was also intended to frighten (ie, terrify) other #BLM activists into standing down. That's pretty much the definition of terrorism, although no one in the media will call it that. Because the shooters didn't shout "Allahu Akbar!" before firing.

You know, when they first started this anti-BLM, "war on cops" rhetoric, I thought "oh, shit, they're going to get someone killed." And it's only sheer dumb luck and bad aim that prevented deaths at the Minnesota protest. And they don't care. There is zero chance that any of these FOXies will tone down their rhetoric, or choose their words more carefully or stop spewing race-baiting bullshit. They didn't change a damn thing after O'Reilly inspired one of his followers to murder Dr. George Tiller. They didn't change anything after one of Glenn Beck's disciples was arrested on his way to shoot up the Tides Foundation. Even after he said he was inspired by Beck. Or when some asshole shot up a Unitarioan Church and said he was inspired by Bernie Gioldberg's book about "people who are screwing up America" and wanted to kill as many liberals as he could.

So, no, they won't take any responsibility or blame. Hell, in private they may even take credit.But they will keep stirring up the loonies. And then step back and watch the violence they've inspired. And not feel a twinge of guilt. Because they're sociopaths.

Ridiculous headline of the day

Via Yahoo News:

Ted Cruz has always had a master plan. Now it could win him the White House.

Pffft!!! The White House?!?!?! Ahahahahaha!!!

Every politician plans, plots, or schemes; that's part of the job. But not every politician is a prodigy at it. Ted Cruz is.

 Ahahahahah! A "prodigy?" Ahahahaha!!
A prodigy?
Mozart was a prodigy.
Ted Cruz is fourty-five years old! It's too late to be a prodigy!
Also, a "prodigy" would not be best known for reading a children's book on the Senate floor and misunderstanding it!

Maximillian Lu adjusts his cap as he toys with a chess set during an interview, Nov. 16, 2015, in Armonk, N.Y. The 10-year-old recently became the youngest chess master ever in the United States.
Maximillian Lu adjusts his cap as he toys with a chess set during an interview, Nov. 16, 2015, in Armonk, N.Y. The 10-year-old recently became the youngest chess master ever in the United States.

See, this kid is a prodigy. Being really good at an adult thing at the age of ten makes you a prodigy. Being sort of okay at an adult thing when you are a middle-aged man does not.

 But suddenly it seems that Cruz is running what even Dan Pfeiffer, a former top aide to President Obama, concedes is “the best campaign on the other side.” 

Dan Pfeiffer. The only man in America who considers running in fourth place behind three lunatics to be running "the best campaign."

He has raised more money than any Republican other than Jeb Bush and more non-PAC money than any other Republican, period; he also has more cash on hand than any of his GOP rivals. He was the first candidate to recruit chairmen in all 171 counties in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. 

Yes. And he is in fourth place. And he's, what, about fifteen points behind a complete political neophyte with a bad comb-over a string of bankruptcies?

And from the start he has conspicuously refrained from criticizing frontrunner Donald Trump, choosing instead to position himself as Trump’s heir apparent, should the bombastic real estate mogul falter or fade, which Cruz has publicly predicted will happen.

Except it hasn't yet. I mean, God knows Trump has given the voters every reason to throw him overboard, with one ridiculous statement after another, but every time you thing "well, that's gonna have to cost him," he gets stronger. And Cruz just sits there waiting, waiting, waiting for the implosion that surely must be just over the next horizon, hoping that when the Trump pinata bursts, the votes will be scooped up by him and not Rubio, or Bush or Carson or Kasich or any of the other blindfolded children waiting for candy to fall on them from above. That's a hell of a strategy. What a prodigy!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Trump vs Rubio

Remember on Monday when we speculated that Trump's comments on shutting down mosques might actually gain him a point or two in the polls?

Well, the latest FOX "News" New Hampshire poll just came out, and lo and behold, Trum is up a couple points!

Screen Shot 2015-11-19 at 12.33.44 PM

No one is even close to him! Ben Carson has cratered, I guess because Republicans have realized that they can have the same level of offensiveness and nuttery from a white man so who needs Carson?

Rubio is the closest competitor and he is FOURTEEN points behind Trump! And how is he going to make up this gap? How many other candidates would have to drop out and throw 100% of their supporters to Rubio to make this happen?

Well, next closest is Cruz. He can't drop out because God wants him to be President and you don't say no to the guy with the lightning bolts! So, Rubio could maybe pick up JEB!'s 9% if he were to drop out.
If Carson goes, you gotta figure his 9% goes to Trump, so best-case scenario fro Rubio is that Carson doesn't stomp his feet, stick out his lower lip and take his bat and ball and go home before New Hampshire at least.
He could pick up 7% when if Kasich throws up his hands, wails "what the fuck happened? I used to be the extreme right-wing of the stupid party!" and quits.
When Christie drops out, Rubio might get some of his voters, those who were voting for the "corrupt, but at least he's not insane" candidate. But the East-Coast-loudmouth-jerk constituency would flock to Trump, so let's say maybe 3% apiece. That's a wash.

So, that's Trump 30%, Rubio 32? Is that right? Of course, once Fiorina decides to go back to being a spectacular private-sector failure, her 3%  comes from the CEO-worshipping wing of the party, so that goes to Trump.

Rand Paul's 3% doesn't go to either candidate. His supporters will probably write in Lyndon LaRouche or Alex Jones or someone.

And there's no one else over 1% other than Don't Know. And Don't Know's 7% could go anywhere.

Anyway you spin it, this is bad news for the GOP. Which means it is good news for America. When your party's best hope is that the electorate will coalesce around Marco Rubio.


The guy who says things like women are looking forward to having more abortions so they can sell the extra baby parts. (source)

The guy whose suggestion that we arm and support the Syrian rebels soon to be known as ISIS got him dragged by the American Conservative!

The guy who was willing to support immigration as long as it wouldn't give any gay people the right to come to America.

This guy is your most electable candidate. He's the guy who seems Presdiential when you compare him to Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz and the rest of the insans clown posse crowding on to the GOP debate stage. But when he has to stand on stage with Bernie Sanders or Hilary Clinton, he's back to looking like this guy:

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Headlines that are actually not from the Onion, I swear.

Kasich Proposes New Government Agency To Promote Judeo-Christian Values

Um. . . why?

As part of a broad national security plan to defeat ISIS, Republican Presidential candidate John Kasich proposed creating a new government agency to push Judeo-Christian values around the world.



That'll totally help defeat ISIS.

Because. . . um. . . nobody will fight harder to defeat ISIS than people who belivev in turn the other cheek? And beating swords into plowshares?

Of course, is there really any such thing as Judeo-Christian values? I mean, Jesus is all "love your enemies" and "do good to those who do evil to you," and the Old Testament is all like:

Deuteronomy 20:17

17 but vyou shall devote them to complete destruction,1 the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded,

Numbers 31:7-18

They fought against Midian, as the Lord commanded Moses, and killed every man. . . . The Israelites captured the Midianite women and children and took all the Midianite herds, flocks and goods as plunder. 10 They burned all the towns where the Midianites had settled, as well as all their camps. . . . 14 Moses was angry with the officers of the army—the commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds—who returned from the battle.
15 “Have you allowed all the women to live?” he asked them. . .  17 Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, 18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

So, I'm not really sure which type of values you're going to choose to promote.
You know, to defeat ISIS.

The new agency, which he hasn't yet named, would promote a Jewish- and Christian-based belief system to four regions of the world: China, Iran, Russia and the Middle East.

Um, you know China has nothing to do with ISIS, right? And you do know that Iran is majority Shia', and ISIS is not only Suni, but made up largely of former soldiers from Sadam's army who fought a long, ugly war against Iran, so there's no way in Hell that Iran would ever support ISIS? I mean, you have to know that, right? I know that and I'm just some guy. You think you're qualified to be President and you don't know this?

"We need to beam messages around the world" about the freedoms Americans enjoy, Kasich said in an interview with NBC News Tuesday. "It means freedom, it means opportunity, it means respect for women, it means freedom to gather, it means so many things.

Wait. Judeo-Christian values means "respect for women?"

Ephesians 5:22

22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

1 Timothy 2:11-12 

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet.

Deuteronomy 22:28-29

28 If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, 29 he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her.

Deuteronomy 21:10-13

10 When you go to war against your enemies and the Lord your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife.

So anyway. . . I assume Kasich had to defend this proposal from his opponents who surely pointed out that this is about as blatant a violation of the seperation of church and state as could be imagined.

He defended creating a new government agency at a time when fellow Republican presidential candidates discuss eliminating government agencies to making the government smaller. 

 Oh, fer fuck sake!

That's the issue? That's the problem you're seeing here?  The cost? You want to have the United States government actively promote religion to people in other countries who, by the way, are going to see this as an admission on our part that we do see the "War on Terror" as a battle between our Christianity and their Islam which can't possibly be at all helpful, and you're worried that people might think it's too expensive or that it doesn't fit in with your insane anti-government dogma?

Thank God this guy has no chance of ever being President!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hard to tell if Ted Cruz is lying or a complete idiot.

“There is no meaningful risk of Christians committing acts of terror,” Cruz said in the wake of a brutal terrorist attack in Paris by ISIS during a visit to South Carolina on Sunday.

Um. . .

And he said this in South Carolina. Home of this guy who must have not been a terrorist because Christians can't ever be terrorists.

And, not in any particular order:

Army of God
The Phineas Priesthood
Posse Comitatus
Jerad and Amanda Miller
Sovereign Citizens
Montana Freemen
Eric Matthew Frein
Oath Keepers
the Hutaree Militia
Scott Roeder
Wade Micheal Page
Joseph Andrew Stack III

And so on, and so on, and so on. . .

Oh, and Cruz defended his insane position by saying this:

"If my father were part of a theocratic and political movement like radical Islam that promotes murdering anyone who doesn't share your extreme faith or forcibly converting them, it would make perfect sense," he said. "Not to let someone in who a embraces political philosophy and theology that says murder the infidels."

Um. . . I don't know about your father, but you spent the weekend being the star attraction at an event hosted by a pastor that advocates murdering all gay people.

Cruz is also set to join Mike Huckabee and Bobby Jindal at a religious liberty confab with Pastor Kevin Swanson. If you’re unfamiliar with Kevin Swanson, Right Wing Watch has put together a rather comprehensive survey of his body of work as it relates to LGBT people, among other things. Swanson celebrated the murder of an abortion provider, argued that sex slavery is actually better than social welfare programs, believes that God gave gay people AIDS as an “act of kindness,” and thinks Uganda’s “kill the gays” bill should be a model for the United States

So, maybe we shouldn't have let you in. Except that stopping you at the border would have been a shitty thing to do to Canada.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Trump doesn't get the First Amendment

(CNN)Donald Trump on Monday suggested he would "strongly consider" shutting down mosques in the U.S. as part of the response to the terror attacks in Paris.
"Well, I would hate to do it but it's something you're going to have to strongly consider," Trump said during an interview on MSNBC.

Wow! If I thought Trump had any chance of winning the White House, that would be a really frightening statement.

On Monday, Trump also took a shot at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio for his decision last year to halt a covert NYPD program used for surveillance on Muslim communities.
"You're going to have to watch and study the mosques," Trump said, "because a lot of talk is going on at the mosques...Under the old regime we had tremendous surveillance going around and in the mosques in New York City."

I don't know how much of what comes from Trump's mouth he actually believes, because he says things like maybe we should boycott Starbucks as if he gives a shit about their lack of Christmas spirit, but whether or not  he believes that mosques should be shut down, that certain people's right to practice their religion should be curtailed, the thing is that he said it. Out loud and in public. And it's not going to hurt him. His poll numbers aren't going to drop from this. He might even gain a point or two. He might steal a couple points from Ben Carson, now that he has made the latest outrageously offensive staement. (Ball's in your court, Doctor!)

And none of his fellow Republicans will condemn him for it. None of them will have the balls and the decency to stand up and say "Mr. Trump, in this country we believe in the free exercise of religion as enshrined in the First Amendment." None of the conservative figures who are constantly blubbering on about protecting religious freedom are going to raise a single word of objection to this quasi-fascist suggestion. And the window of what is considered acceptable political discourse will be streched to the right once again.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

90 Minutes in Heaven?

While reading about Ben Carson's ghostwriter co-author at No More Mr Nice Blog, I saw this bit about another book that this guy had "co-authored" with another shady grifter entitled 90 Minutes in Heaven.,204,203,200_.jpg

Here's the gist of the story:

As he is driving home from a minister's conference, Baptist minister Don Piper collides with a semi-truck that crosses into his lane. He is pronounced dead at the scene. For the next 90 minutes, Piper experiences heaven where he is greeted by those who had influenced him spiritually. He hears beautiful music and feels true peace. Back on earth, a passing minister who had also been at the conference is led to pray for Don even though he knows the man is dead. Piper miraculously comes back to life and the bliss of heaven is replaced by a long and painful recovery. For years Piper kept his heavenly experience to himself. Finally, however, friends and family convinced him to share his remarkable story.

That is horrifying. And if I were Rev. Piper, I think I would be the bitterest son of a bitch to ever thump a Bible.

Think about it. You die. You go to Heaven. Which is the best place in the world from what we hear. St. Peter is showing you around, you're meeting people who have influenced you "Oh, hello John Lennon. Nice to meet you, William Faulkner. . ." you're feeling true peace for the first time. And then, suddenly, St Peter says "oh, sorry, bud. Some minister just prayed for you to come back, so we're sending you back to earth. Sorry about the long and painful recovery you're gonna face. Also, your brain has been deprived of oxygen for the last hour and a half, so when you get back, you're basically going to be a turnip with feet." And down you go.

And then there's some ass going "I prayed for God to send you back. Uhhhh you're welcome!"

Youuuuu DICK!!!

Don Piper returned from the gates of Heaven to endure 13 excruciating months of hospitalization, 34 major surgeries, including some never before attempted in the United States, and years of painful therapy and rehabilitation. He now shares his incredible lessons of answered prayer, miracles, overcoming tragedy, pain and loss, and the reality of Heaven.

Lesson number one: If I die. For any reason. If you see me and I'm dead. Do not - DO NOT! - do not under any circumstances pray for God to send me back!!!

Around the world Don Piper has shared the story of hope and healing. . . Don Piper is known around the world as, "The Minister of Hope."

Hope? Hope? How is he the minister of hope?
Like, don't worry, even if you go to Heaven, even if you think that you're going to spend eternity in  the unrivaled bliss of Paradise, there's always hope! There's always a chance that some selfish dick will pray to God to send you back and God will actually kick you out of Paradise like you ate an apple and send you back to Earth to live out your days in pain and sorrow. Hope!

Now the good news is that this preacher never died, never went to Heaven and never got sent back to Earth. As you might have suspected, clever folks that you are, it's a money-making scam.

Don Piper is known around the world as, "The Minister of Hope." He founded Don Piper Ministries, a 501-c3 entity, in 2007, to channel revenues from book sales and speaking income to help over 40 ministries here and abroad.

And yes, obviously the money is going to help "ministries" all over the world. 

A Ferrari dealership is a kind of ministry, right?

Also, if you really had a message of hope from the Lord above, and you had been sent back to Earth to spread this message, would you have the balls to charge speaking fees? God has a message for you, but if you think 'm gonna tell you without getting my beak wet, you're outta your mind!

Monday, November 9, 2015

This guy is an actual senator!

Yeah, he's from Arkansas. Of course he is. He looks like one of the kids from Mud.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) suggested on Monday that population decline and drug abuse in poor areas could be the result of too many people on Social Security disability.

Speaking to the conservative Heritage Foundation on Monday, Cotton warned that communities with high a percentage of residents on Social Security disability had reached a tipping point that was linked to population decline. But he said that communities which used fewer benefits were enjoying a population increase.
“It’s hard to say what came first or caused the other, population decline or increased disability usage,” Cotton opined. “Or maybe economic stagnation caused both. Regardless, there seems to be at least at the county and regional level something like a disability tipping point.”

What the fuck is this guy even talking about?
Population decline?

You know, maybe he's right. Maybe people who are disabled are less eager to have kids? Maybe a lot of disabled people are thinking "Geez, how would I chase a toddler around in this wheelchair?" Or maybe, I don't know, maybe they're thinking "my disability payments are barely covering my living expenses and doctor bills, there's no way I can afford to have a baby."  So, maybe that's not a bad thing? People being responsible about family planning?

“When a county hits a certain level of disability usage, disability becomes a norm,” he continued. “It becomes an acceptable way of life and alternative source of income to a good paying full-time job as opposed to a last resort safety net program to deal with catastrophic injury and illness.”

Yeah. . . no. Not so much. Being on disability isn't something that goes in and out of style. People either are disabled or they aren't. And, yes, there are of course people who fake injury to scam the system. But it isn't like once one person does that faking it becomes contagious either. It's not like Heathers!

“At a certain point when disability keeps climbing and become endemic, employers will struggle to find employees or begin or continue to move out of the area,”

O my God. Has that ever happened? Has there ever been a community where so many people became disabled that companies couldn't find any non-disabled people to work for them anymore? Do you have any idea how ridiculous you sound?

“The population continues to fall and a downward spiral kicks in, driving once thriving communities into further decline.”
“Not only that, but once this spiral begins, communities could begin to suffer other social plagues as well, such as heroin or meth addiction and associated crime.”

Heroin? Meth? Is that really what you think happens? Disablility somehow becomes an epidemic, there are no able-bodied workers left, so companies abandon the city, so then. . . heroin? 

If only I had kept working after I injured my back!

Cotton revealed that he planned to introduce legislation that would single out non-permanent disability recipients and set a timeline for them to return to work.
Disabled people who are not ready to return to work would be forced to reapply for disability benefits, Cotton said.

Fuck you!
You know, I was on temporary disability once, after an ugly skiing accident. And it took a bit longer than predicted for my fractured hip to heal up. If I had had to go through the headaches of re-applying for disability, I mean -  I guess I would have because what choice would I have had, but still. Fuck you, Cotton. I paid into Social Security, I'm still paying in and probably will be for years to come. If I need to use it, I will. There's nothing in the world wrong with that. It's not a fucking handout, I paid for it. And the entire time that I was on disability, I swear to you that zero of my friends, family and/or neighbors found themselves suddenly disabled. No one said "well, Hell, if the Perfessor can do it, I can too!"  And no one started doing heroin.

How to be an asshole

Look at this asshole:

So, first you make up a totally fake bit of bullshit to wind yourself up about. This particular sack of bullshit this asshole is trying to gin up phony outrage about is that Starbucks changed their winter coffee cups from this:

To this:

So, as you can plainly see, they must really hate Jesus.
Because the old cup had snowflakes and an elk pictured on it which is obviously a way of praising the Christ-child, and the new one is just red. You know,  red like communists are. 
And you know who else is red?

So now you've got your ginned-up fake agrievement. Now you go take it out on a bunch of people who are just trying to do their jobs and pay their rent and have no control over what the company does to their cups. Try to embarrass these kids who have to shout out "Merry Christmas" in the first week of fucking November, when you'd really be jumping the gun by saying "Happy Thanksgiving."

Then, act like you've somehow outsmarted the entire anti-Christmas-industrial-complex. Be really smug about it. Like this is a real accomplishment. Just wallow in your own absurdly inflated sense of acheivement, having "tricked" some teenager making 10 bucks an hour into saying something that he doesn't find remotely objectionable and probably says all the time IN LATE DECEMBER WHEN IT'S FUCKING APPROPRIATE!

Lastly, "challenge" other like-minded simpletons to do the same. As if it were some sort of an act of bravery to give the coffee lady a fake name. Like it isn't just a stupid joke that people do all the time. Like Bart Simpson has done about a million times.

Except that your fake name isn't clever or funny and the Starbucks employee isn't fooled by it because it doesn't sound like a real name.

And that's how to be an asshole!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Rick Santorum is a silly, silly man

Rick Santorum is, believe it or not, still technically running for president.

And here's proof:
. . . in an effort to remind us all he’s out there, converting oxygen into carbon dioxide, Santorum sent out a delightful fundraising letter today, captured by Dave Weigel at the Washington Post    

President Obama is chicken!
Yeah, I said it… because someone had to!

 Yeah, no. No one had to say that. No one had to lob a juvenile playground taunt at the president. Especially one that seems based on absolutely nothing.
 If you're going to call someone "chicken," you have to be able to back that up with something. You have to be able to say "President Obama is chicken. I totally double-dog-dared him to jump off the top of the monkey bars and he totally wouldn't."

President Obama is chicken!
Yeah, I said it… because someone had to!
I’ve dealt with the liberal mainstream media for years. They hate us!

 Okay, see. . . that doesn't follow. If you're going to open with "President Obama is chicken," you need to follow that with "but I'm totally not. I'm the bravest boy in the world. This one time, I went to a cemetery at night all by myself." You can't follow up "Obama is chicken" with "boy, don't you hate that mainstream press?" That's not a smooth segue. It's not a segue at all. It's more like a jarring jump-cut for no reason.

I’ve dealt with the liberal mainstream media for years. They hate us!
But last week’s CNBC debate was a joke and everyone knows it!

Well, when you put up a slate of candidates that look like the cast of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, you can hardly  be surprised it turns into a joke.

Now President Obama mocks us – CONSERVATIVES - for standing up to CNBC? Give me a break! He doesn’t have the guts to appear with Sean Hannity or Mark Levin, let alone take on radical world leaders!

Well, sure, if by "standing up to" you mean whining and crying about how the big meanies at CNBC  were so unfair to you, then sure. You totally stood up to them.
And also, sure the President should totally take time out of his busy schedule to go on with one of the most ridiculous right-wing hacks on FOX and/or some guy I never heard of who apparently has a radio show, you know, if he wasn't so scared of them. 

I’ve taken on the ladies of The View. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with Bill Maher. And I’ve debated Rachel Maddow and won.

 AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! The Ladies of the View!
Ooh, you took on Raven Symone and lived to tell the tale?

You stood up to the Fearsome Foursome and survived?

 I'm scared just looking at them!

Also, you may well have debated Rachel Maddow, but I promise you you didn't win.

More importantly, I’ve taken on ISIS and Iran.

When have you taken on ISIS?
I'm pretty sure it would have been on the news if you had strapped on a helmet, picked up a weapon and flown to Syria to take on ISIS. 

It's really disturbing how much "cute kid soldier" clip-art is out there.

You're just lying. Even your glue-sniffing, cousin-loving supporters aren't going to believe that you've "Taken on ISIS and Iran." How can you just throw that out without anything to back it up?

Unless. . . do you mean that you've "said bad things" about ISIS and Iran? That you've wagged your finger or shaken your fist at ISIS and Iran?
Did you give them the frowning of a lifetime? 

I’ve taken on ISIS and Iran. They know who I am and I know who they are! 

Okay. But honestly, pretty much everyone knows who ISIS and Iraq are. Whether they know who you are is somewhat less likely. But if they do, I assure you, they are laughing.
Because Rick Santorum, you are a silly, silly man!